“Legion” Review

By | Liam Olson

“Legion”, “Chapter 1” brilliantly introduces audiences to the world and mind of David Haller, one of the most powerful mutants in existence. With interesting and in depth characters, great acting to bring these characters to life, and unique story progression, “Legion” will make the viewer want to delve deeper into David’s mind.

The first episode of “Legion” aired on FX on Feb. 8. Noah Hawley directed “Chapter 1” and also assisted in creating and writing the show. The show is based on the “Legion” comic book series which written and drawn by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz.

From the beginning to the end of “Chapter 1”, reality and fantasy are hard to discern going back and forth between the mind and world of David Haller, played by Dan Stevens. However, the back and forth create pieces of the story that all come together at the end of the episode. Although some pieces of the first episode are to be connected later episodes, the parts that you are given generate interesting discussion with friends at the end of the episode.

The plot of “Legion” begins in the mind of David Haller where you learn about the memories of his youth. In his youth, he slowly begins to realize his telekinetic powers until his breaking point during his college years where his powers came in at full capacity.

After his breakdown,  he was admitted to a mental hospital where doctors misdiagnose him with schizophrenia, but in reality he is a powerful telepath that cannot handle his abilities. In the hospital, David spends his days in his daily routine with a fellow patient and friend Lenny, played by Aubrey Plaza. However, everything changes as soon as a mysterious new patient named Syd, played by Rachel Keller, arrives at the mental hospital and Danny immediately falls in love with her. Keller is able to show versatility in her acting by switching between the various sides of her character Syd with ease.

For some viewers, the story of the hospital seems like the main plot, however, these are just the memories of Danny. The actual plot of the main story begins in an interrogation room. In the room, Danny is monitored and questioned by government agents to determine how much of a threat he actually is to the world.

In the first episode alone, Stevens does a phenomenal job at bringing the character of David Haller to life. He conveys the instability and insanity that David’s character represents in fun and interesting ways. Plaza channels the laid back and oblivious characterization of Lenny. Plaza’s choice to play Lenny is a great change from the more comedic roles that she has played in the past such as April from the show “Parks and Recreation”.

The show itself is well done, however, there is one issue that needs to be mentioned. The lighting was overbearing in some shots and, at some points, got in the way of the visuals. One example that stood out among the rest is the scene where Syd walks in on David’s group therapy session, in the background behind Syd there is lots of light that causes Syd’s face to not be visible. Due to the length of this scene, the light was so bright that it made it hard to look at the scene.

“Chapter 1” of “Legion” is complex and intriguing. Through the unique and interesting characters and storytelling, audiences will want to delve deeper into the insane mind of David Haller.

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